2022 All-Star Game MVP: Sportsbooks Post Clayton Kershaw Odds With Differing Opinions
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
A pitcher has won the MLB All Star Game MVP Award just eight times in the game’s history, but with Clayton Kershaw starting in his home stadium, he seems like a popular choice.
Legal sportsbooks were hesitant to list him — or any pitcher — to win the award.
When they opened, sportsbooks were far from agreement.
Odds are relatively similar across the market. Shohei Ohtani (who is not pitching) is the consensus favorite. Aaron Judge follows closely behind. Those odds have been available all day.
But it wasn’t until closer to 3:45 p.m. ET that sportsbooks posted Kershaw, Shane McClanahan and other pitchers.
It’s unlikely, sure. A pitcher has only won five times since 1978. However, if a pitcher were going to win, this might be the year.
Consider this: Action Network MLB expert Sean Zerillo pointed out the trend of pitchers winning. The last three pitchers to win all took the mound at their home field. Shane Bieber won in 2019 in Cleveland, Mariano Rivera won at Yankee Stadium in 2013 and Pedro Martinez won in 1999 at Fenway Park.
And now Kershaw takes the mound at Dodger Stadium.
What were sportsbooks afraid of? Are they worried about a groundswell of Kershaw bets at a monstrous number with sentiment a possible consideration?
Some said pitchers don’t play enough to be considered. Others aren’t sure how to price it. Some are still evaluating the market.
It’s seemingly a waiting game. If one sportsbook puts up lines on pitchers, it’s likely others will follow.
That’s exactly what eventually happened.
Around 3:30 p.m. ET, PointsBet was first to the legal market at +1200 on Kershaw. DraftKings followed at +3500. FanDuel was the longest at +5000.
It’s important to know house rules in instances like this. For example, if BetMGM does not post odds on a pitcher to win and a pitcher does win, all other bets will be void and refunded.